Sometimes getting out of the house and into the gym is the hardest part of working out. In that case, why not bring the gym to you by creating a home gym? These are some simple steps you can take to stay motivated, work out at home, and keep your fitness goals manageable despite your lack of access to a gym.
Get in a routine. Staying motivated to work out is one of the hardest parts of any fitness journey. There always seems to be more reasons not to exercise! The number one way to stay motivated is to create an attainable routine for yourself. When exercising is a built-in part of your day, you’re less likely to find an excuse to skip it. Start by discovering what time of day you enjoy working out, then build it into your schedule. Avoid being too ambitious with the time you wake up or how strenuous your workouts are at first. You want this routine to be something you can achieve every day.
Put your gym equipment within sight (but out of the way). When you can see the dumbbells you should be curling, it’s a lot harder to walk past them. Sometimes, especially as you’re establishing your routine, it’s helpful to see your equipment as a reminder to get to work. You could even start laying your “gym” clothes out the night before.
Find a great playlist, podcast, or TV show to play while you work out! Some people get bored quickly by working out, which causes them to give up and find something more entertaining to do. If you discover something like a playlist, podcast, TV show, or even a workout leader you get excited to watch, set it aside for your workout time exclusively. This can be an encouraging factor to get your body moving!
Creating your home gym can be fun! This is your space, so customize it to the types of workouts you want to do. Because you’re in an apartment, there are limitations with space, size, and noise. There won’t be room for a full squat rack, and I’m sure your neighbors wouldn’t appreciate hearing weights being slammed to the ground! However, there are types of weights you can purchase that can aid in strength training without the rowdiness of the gym.
Dumbbells and kettlebells are great for weight training! You can get a set of weights and a rack for an affordable price on Amazon. They take up minimal space, and you can use them for multiple types of workouts. Their versatility makes dumbbells and kettlebells exceptional assets to a home gym.
Yoga mats are another versatile piece of equipment! Even if you aren’t looking to become a yogi, these mats make doing floor workouts far more comfortable. Mats can keep you from rug rash or bruises from hard floors. If you are interested in an exercise like yoga or pilates, YouTube has endless free exercise videos for at-home fitness beginners and intermediates.
It’s very helpful to have a bench for your free-weight workouts. A bench alone works great for bench pressing, standing rows, Bulgarian split squats, hip bridges, and more. When you splurge on an adjustable bench that can be converted into a seat, you can do even more. Sitting shoulder presses, reverse bicep curls, and seated curls are just a few of the workouts you can do with a backrest.
It may sound silly, but watching yourself workout can help you immensely. Even if you invest in an inexpensive full-length one from Walmart or Target, a mirror can help you watch your form as you exercise. It’s important not to hurt yourself, so keeping an eye on form is necessary. Mirrors also help you stay motivated as you see yourself working out. It’s like having an exercise buddy!
It can be frustrating when you can’t see your progress before your own eyes. You won’t have a six-pack after doing a set of sit-ups, and you won’t lose 10 pounds from one workout. It’s important to remember that exercising is a long journey. Weight loss or gain should not be the sole purpose of exercising; it’s about keeping your body healthy and strong!
In order to keep your goals manageable, listen to your body. Don’t start out too intensely; work your way up to where you want to be. Routine is incredibly important. Make sure the time allotted for exercise works with your life rather than taking it over. Don’t put too much strain on yourself immediately, and learn how to love the process!